The Difference Between Accounting and Finance Jobs

The Difference Between Accounting and Finance Jobs

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While accounting and finance job may go together, there are key differences: accounting job focuses the flow of money and out of a company, while finance job is a more broad term that describes how one manages asset and liabilities. Whether you are thinking about look for a job in accounting and finance, it is important to understand exactly what the two fields are and what specialists in each do. 

Accounting vs. Finance: The Basics

The difference between accounting and finance is that accounting focuses on the day-to-day flow of money in and out of a company or institution, whereas finance is a broader term for the management of assets and liabilities and the planning of future growth.

If you want to exercise high-level control over a company’s strategy, finance could be for you. If you want to take a detailed look at a company’s books you’re probably more interested in accounting. It’s often said that accounting looks back to a company’s past financial transactions, whereas finance looks forward to plan future acquisition of assets.

Accounting is more about accurate reporting of what has already happened and compliance with laws and standards. Finance is about looking forward and growing a pot of money or mitigating losses. If you like thinking in terms of a longer time horizon you may be happier in finance than in accounting.

Accounting vs. Finance: Career Options

The difference between accounting and finance may just be a matter of idle curiosity for some of us, but if you’re choosing a career, it’s an important distinction. 

Choose accounting and if you work for a big company you’ll likely report to the company’s Chief Financial Officer. You could have a job title like Controller, Tax Manager, Fund Accountant, Valuation Analyst or Financial Reporting Accountant. Alternatively, you could become a Tax Accountant, a Bookkeeper, Treasurer or Auditor, for yourself, a business, a non-profit or the government.

As an accounting professional you’ll be tracking and reporting flows of money and ensuring compliance with best practices. 

If you choose finance you have a different range of options. You could become a financial analyst, investment banker, financial examiner, personal financial advisor or money manager. You could work in consulting or corporate finance. Banking and insurance underwriting are also open to finance. And of course entrepreneurship is another route that’s open to finance types.

Accounting vs. Finance: Salaries

There’s a wide salary range in the fields of both accounting and finance. Both fields have strong growth prospects between now and 2032. Let’s take a look at a few examples of salaries and growth prospects.

According to the, the median pay for a Financial Analyst in 2020 was RM65,800 per year. Between 2022 and 2032, the number of Financial Analyst jobs is projected to grow by 12%, a faster-than-average growth rate.

Accountants and Auditors have a median pay of RM65,000 per year. The number of jobs is projected to increase by 11% between 2022 and 2032, which is also an above-average growth rate.

Let’s take a look at an example on the lower end of the scale. The median pay for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks in 2020 was RM36,000 per year. The number of jobs is projected to decline by 8% between 2022 and 2032. As you can see, the field of accounting has both high-salary, high-growth jobs and lower-salary, negative-growth jobs.

Salaries in finance tend to be high, but there are exceptions. One example is fundraisers. The median pay for fundraisers is RM70,000 per year. However, the job outlook is for 9% growth between 2022 and 2032, still above average. 

Bottom Line

If you work in accounting your recording and reporting of financial transactions will support the work of the finance team. Likewise, if you’re in finance you’re depending on the clear and accurate work of the folks in accounting. Both fields require a high level of skill, education and comfort with quantitative analysis. And (with luck and hard work on your side) both have the potential to provide challenging work that’s well compensated.

If you are considering look for a job in accounting or finance, you might try on

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